MWC 2016 Paves Path For Connected Cars - InformationWeek

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2/28/2016
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MWC 2016 Paves Path For Connected Cars

Autonomous and connected cars were spotlighted at this year's Mobile World Congress. With 44 million of these vehicles expected to hit the road by 2030, tech companies such as Nokia Networks and Qualcomm are joining car manufacturers to roll out state-of-the-art features.

Google, Tesla And Apple Race For Electric, Autonomous Vehicle Talent
Google, Tesla And Apple Race For Electric, Autonomous Vehicle Talent
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BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress is widely regarded as the tech event where smartphone manufacturers and telecom carriers gather to show off the latest devices and innovations in networking, communications, and mobile hardware. This year, however, the connected car and all that comes with it made a significant splash at the show, with many people predicting that in less than 15 years, these vehicles will be commonplace.

By 2030 there could be as many as 44 million autonomous and connected cars on public streets and highways, according to GSMA, the group that organizes MWC. At the show this year, analysts predict that connected and automated vehicles will make a huge economic impact, with the market hitting its stride between 2030 and 2035.

However, signs of the future are already here. In Europe, for example, new laws are mandating connectivity in all new cars and light vans starting in March 2018. In addition, vehicles must be equipped with "eCall," an emergency notification system, which is part of a European Commission initiative. The goal is to help drivers, police, and emergency workers respond more rapidly to car accidents.

Additionally, the connected car is creating new jobs across the automotive industry. The vehicles promise social benefits, such as increased fuel-efficiency, lower environmental impact, a reduction in traffic congestion, and a higher level of comfort for drivers.

The Race for Connectivity

At MWC, carriers and car companies were eager to show off the future today.

Nokia Networks aims to enable autonomous driving through its 5G, ultra-low latency network. The technology offers connectivity for fast-moving autonomous systems, which require constant and virtually uninterrupted communication flow to improve road safety and reduce congestion.

"The network can guarantee that the traffic as a whole flows seamlessly; this is something you won't achieve if you put just sensors in the car," Volker Held, head of innovation marketing at Nokia Networks, told InformationWeek.

Recently, Nokia had a successful live trial of its 5G technology at the A9 high-speed motorway in Germany.

"The cloud server gets the position, direction, and speed of the cars. All the functions are virtualized using NFV technologies," said Rainer Liebhart, research project manager at Nokia Networks. Liebhart added that the autonomous driving low-latency application was developed with the help of two universities in Budapest and Dresden.

Fully Autonomous Car of the future

Qualcomm and Mercedes-Benz have partnered to bring life to the 2016 Mercedes F 015 self-driving car.  A fully functional autonomous luxury car, this Mercedes could reach the market by 2017, but don't expect to see parking lots full of them until at least 2030.

The Mercedes F 015 exterior is designed with cutting-edge technology. Powered by hydrogen fuel cells, it features rear-hinged doors that open up and outwards to 90 degrees, 26-inch alloy wheels, and aluminum-encased windows.
(Image: Susan Fourtané for InformationWeek)

The Mercedes F 015 exterior is designed with cutting-edge technology. Powered by hydrogen fuel cells, it features rear-hinged doors that open up and outwards to 90 degrees, 26-inch alloy wheels, and aluminum-encased windows.

(Image: Susan Fourtané for InformationWeek)

This masterpiece of engineering combines the best state-of-the-art technology with an impeccable stylish and classy aesthetic design.

The interior is a mixture of white Nappa natural leather, timber, glass, and metal. Six high-resolution display screens have been incorporated into the rear and side panels, which can be controlled through touch, gesture command, and eye tracking. Advertised by the German automaker as "The best, or nothing," this is the best autonomous car at MWC, without a doubt.

Accelerating the Future

"The car of the future will be always connected," said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm Inc., during his keynote on autonomous cars at MWC. He was later joined by Lewis Hamilton, driver at Mercedes AMG Petronas, and Paddy Lowe, technical executive director at Mercedes AMG Petronas, for a panel discussion about the future of connected cars.

[Read more about connected cars.]

About two-thirds of the cars sold in 2015 have Bluetooth inside, said Aberle. "A cellular LTE connectivity is becoming more and more prevalent, WiFi within the car has been embedded like mobile hot-spots within the vehicle, 3D navigation, real-time traffic, things like remote diagnostic and self-diagnostic, LTE is already enabling connections from the cloud to the vehicle, and Bluetooth allows your car to interact with your devices in the car," said Aberle. "In the future, the car is going to be connected to everything."

Indeed, cars will be able to communicate with other cars, with pedestrians, and with the infrastructure. "The car will become a mobile platform," said Aberle. 

Susan Fourtané is a Science & Technology journalist, writer, and philosopher with a life-long interest in science and technology -- and all things interesting. She has been a technology journalist for nearly 10 years writing and reporting for global print and online ... View Full Bio
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Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 9:05:53 AM
Re: The Security Implications of Connected Cars
@progman2000    That's coming next !   : ) 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 9:04:30 AM
Re: The Security Implications of Connected Cars
@tzubair    I was thinking of the use of scanners, I don't know if this is used in the area of phones but I have read/heard that this is a  tool of choice  for car hackers.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 7:14:33 AM
Re: The Security Implications of Connected Cars
@Tzubair, the FBI might fight with your car company to get access to your car's CPU lol
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 7:12:40 AM
Where does this leave motorsports?
It seems quite likely that within a few years, autonomous AI cars will be able to drive harder, faster and for longer than human drivers. While great for consumers and commuters, where does that leave motorsports?

A few years of drivers vs AI could be fun, but when the latter can easily outpace the former, where does that leave us? Do we say goodbyte to human driven cars forever, or will this just open up a new sport with less risk to enjoy?
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
2/29/2016 | 6:09:08 AM
Re: The Security Implications of Connected Cars
@Technocrati: What's the security issue surrounding connected cars? From what I understand, the level of security required would probably be the same that you need on your phone. What could be other threats?
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
2/29/2016 | 4:35:31 AM
Re: The Security Implications of Connected Cars
Technorati,

in the case of connected and autonomous cars the security comes in the networks and solutions that make the connectivity possible.

What car manufactures have to watch is the security protection against cyber-attacks and intrusions, which cause malfunctions, or threten the physical integraty of the driver or pedestrians. 

Software and connectivity for connected and autonomus vehicles will become more critical. Safety and security telematics will play an important role, thus, they need to be enhanced since the start. Security vendors are taking care of this. 

Would you buy a totally autonomous car which has option of manual mode as well. or you would be happy with a car with some connectivity? :)

-Susan 

 
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2016 | 3:26:30 PM
Re: Fuel Cell vs. Lithium Ion
Brian, NASA also uses hydrogen fuel cells to power the shuttles' electrical systems. One benefit of this is that the crew can drink the clean byproduct> clean water. /Susan
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 2:34:43 PM
Re: Fuel Cell vs. Lithium Ion
The nice thing about generating hydrogen from water via electrolysis is that is it essentially a simple process. Water plus electricity yields O2 and H2 – very amenable to solar energy. The problem is that H2 is so very unstable. I believe there is work being done to make a stable form of hydrogen available for fuel cells, but the process is complex and involves cutting edge nanotechnology.

Lithium ion batteries are a troubled technology to say the least. The newest and most promising improvements also involve nanotechnology, and the manufacturing processes are entirely different than what Mr. Musk is using in his Gigafactory, so he may just have a billion-dollar white elephant on his hands.

The one thing for certain is that if we move away from gas powered cars, a titanic change in energy infrastructure will be required, which is unlikely any time soon due to lack of interest due to collapsing energy prices.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
2/28/2016 | 2:33:25 PM
Re: Fuel Cell vs. Lithium Ion
Brian, the aerodynamics in the Mercedes F 015 is also because the car is powered by hydrogen fuel cells. You wonder if they will make a come back. I would say that since the technology in the Mercedes is the best of the best there is problably a reason. :) /Susan
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
2/28/2016 | 1:27:51 PM
Re: Fuel Cell vs. Lithium Ion
@Brian.Dean   I am not familiar with Hydrogen Fuel Cells, but isn't Hydrogen highly combustable ?  I like the advantages of use you mention, but if Hydrogen is highly unstable - it could be another reason for lack of adoption.

In addition to the tried and true test of costs.
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